Questionable judgment pt.2

Today I’m sharing more finds from the house that tossed the heavy sterling silver dish in the fall. These guys exhibited some of the worst judgment I’ve ever seen in my career as a garbage picker – whether that was due to ignorance, total disinterest, or a combination of the two we’ll never know. Their treatment of precious metals was notably poor, but they also threw out other quality items like the art glass vase above.

The bottom was signed Orrefors (it took me a while to figure that out), the name of a respected glassworks company based in Sweden. It had no notable defects, and sold a while back for 80$.

This “boy with umbrella” Royal Copenhagen figurine also showed no signs of damage. It’s about 18cm tall and should sell for around 70$.

Some of these things were wrapped in fabric before being tossed. Or perhaps more likely, they were stored wrapped in fabric and then tossed. Either way, this clay sculpture survived its trip to the curb more or less unscathed. It’s signed by Demetrio Garcia Aguilar, a member of the Aguilar family of Oaxacan potters. It’ll probably sell for around 80$.

(For the record, I’m a bit like Alex Trebek – I may seem all knowing but I’m really just holding cue cards, or in my case doing a lot of research beforehand. For example, I knew nothing about the Aguilar potters before finding this sculpture!)

This unusual wood figure was made by J.M. Poirier, a fisherman and folk artist based in Nova Scotia / Îles de la Madeleine. I’m hoping to sell it for around 80$.

I think this old brass thing is a pull of some kind. It’s pretty big actually, measuring about 12cm in diameter. I’m not sure what to ask for this, so if you have any ideas please share them in the comments!

This set of lightweight midcentury etched glass mugs also made it to the curb in surprisingly good condition. They’re marked Schott Mainz Jena Glass on the bottom and would be great for coffee or tea. They’re worth about 10$ each, but I’ll give a customer at this vintage market a good deal when I sell my trash there near the end of the month (April 28-29, save the date!).

This little silver dish was made in Peru by Camuso. It should sell for around 30$.

The best silver piece however was this large sterling cigar humidor, which according to the inscription (which I’ve partly censored out) was given as a retirement gift to the President of a local congregation in 1944.

The box weighs about 1.2kg, probably 1.1kg of which is sterling silver. That puts the scrap value of the box at approximately 550$.

However, I’ll definitely be able to add a healthy markup to that. This box was made by Carl Poul Petersen, a Danish-Canadian silversmith who apprenticed under the legendary Georg Jensen. Inspired by this fruit bowl of his that recently sold on eBay for 4450$, I finally got around to listing mine recently for 4000$. I’m probably fishing a bit with that price, as the fruit bowl seems like a bit of an aberration (though his stuff does sell for good money) but hey, it’s better to start way too high than way too low. At the very least I expect this to be the first single item that I sell for four figures (those Expo 67 photos from a couple years back sold for 1200$, but that was a group of items; also, the George Nakashima chair sold for over a grand, but after shipping I made only 900$).

This is why I called this series “Questionable judgment.” I find sterling, mostly in the form of mediocre jewelry on a regular basis but it’s pretty unusual to find bigger pieces. This place offered me two of them, with a combined scrap value of about 1000$ and the potential for a fair bit more. I can understand throwing out silver plated stuff, which has little intrinsic value, but you’ve got to wonder what was going through this person’s head when they were bringing these things to the curb.

Part three will feature more quality junk and more precious metals, but that’ll be a little while yet. My “best of 2017” post is almost done so be on the watch for that. Otherwise, I’m swimming in great finds right now and thus have lots to talk about. These days I’m feeling like there’s not enough time in the world to deal with all the stuff I’m salvaging, and I’m trying hard to avoid getting burnt out over it.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. Staying on top of emails is not my best quality, so please be patient (but feel free to nag).

Quality junk

One of my storage areas after a heavy purge.

I’ve been too busy lately. I did a yard sale on Saturday, and those are always a lot of work (roughly nine hours without a real break in this case). On Sunday I organized my storage area, which was a disaster zone, and did a purge of junk I didn’t think would ever sell or was just sick of looking at. I also went on a garbage run that night, and filled the car with more stuff.

On Monday a friend and I did more organizing, and dealt with some of my finds from Sunday. In the evening I went on another trash run, and again filled up the car with more quality junk.

At this point I’m slightly burnt out, so a car full of stuff doesn’t conjure up the same amount of joy it normally might. If anything, part of me is annoyed that I had to take time today to make room in my garage for these recently orphaned items. I’m not completely burnt out, but I will need a real day off sometime soon.

Most of my finds last night came from a wealthy street in Cote-des-Neiges. I almost skipped it this week, but at the last minute I reversed course, remembering that one specific household looked to be getting ready for a move.

I saved a bunch of decent stuff, including two vintage folding chairs; two enlarged prints of vintage 1960s Couture magazine covers; a set of what I now know to be Roto-Toms; a hockey stick, driver, and putter (there were more golf clubs, but I left them for others); a mid-century looking cushion; a pinball game; a signed photo of Patrick Roy; and some other things.

I also saved a couple decent pieces of furniture. I particularly like the cabinet on the left, which has some great mid-century pulls. Neither are in perfect condition, but they’re definitely worth yard sailing. I also found a miniature chair and a pen holder thing. The latter looks kind of fancy, and has a powerful magnet that holds the ball in place. The plastic bit is busted, but that could probably be replaced.

Inside the large “Montreal 1986” folder was a nice screen print of the Eglise Notre-Dame. The artists involved don’t look to be famous, but it’ll definitely sell at a future sale.

I also found a few things in Villeray, like this vintage wind-up toy clock by Westclox. I’ve been finding a lot of good stuff at a spot there recently, but most of that will have to wait for a future post.

I’ll finish up with some other bits and bobs I’ve found recently. St-Michel has been productive of late, and one spot in particular has produced some excellent finds. My collage friend will be happy to receive this batch of National Geographics, most of which date from the late 60s and 1970s.

I also found a vintage enameled bedpan. I’m not sure anyone wants this kind of thing, but I do like having a few funny items at my yard sales!

Edit: just checked eBay and people do seem to want them, though they’re not super valuable or anything.

A bin in TMR last week provided a large collection of vintage wristwatch bands. Some of the bags had gotten a bit moldy but most were fine. They were all made by a company called Meillon in Paris. I can’t find any reference to them online, but I’m sure they’ll sell regardless. They might even be worth eBaying, since the cost of shipping would be very low, basically lettermail + bubble envelope.

The bin also provided this very cool mid-century perpetual calendar. I love the globe design, and it should sell for between 10-20$.

I picked these up on a local heavy garbage day. I’m not sure what they were made to do, but I thought they were cool and potentially useful for some interior design project. They remind me of the inside of a confession both, though I doubt they were used for that purpose. If anyone has any ideas, let me know in the comments!

That’s just the tip of the iceberg really. I’ve found so much recently, and unfortunately a lot of it will never make the blog. I already have a load of photos to post and stories to tell, so some things unfortunately won’t make the cut due largely to circumstance. A recently acquired storage cabinet is full of these things – here’s a look inside. There’s a lot more, and unfortunately I would need an unpaid intern and more storage space to get it all on the blog.

Although I’d love to take next weekend off the weather is supposed to be great, and Sunday seems like a perfect time to do a final yard sale. Mark the day in your calendars if you want to check it out! If all goes well I’ll do a couple more posts this week, one featuring a couple bags of cool vintage clothes I found a couple days ago and one featuring recent furniture finds. Assuming I get the posts done in time all the items within will be available at the sale.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.